By the beginning of next summer, downtown Hermosa Beach should look like an outdoor plaza, with sidewalk cafes, stainless steel benches and ample bicycle racks.
City officials approved the final design scheme for lower Pier Avenue last week and expect the project to be completed by the end of May, said City Manager Steve Burrell. The renovation will be done in conjunction with several other downtown revitalization projects.
The city will redo the sidewalks in a blackish-gray concrete with clear sparkling specks and light red granite trim from Hermosa Avenue to Beach Drive. Palm trees will be planted along widened sidewalks, and street lights with nautical-looking lamps will be added to the outdoor area, along with benches and an information kiosk.
"This was so hard to pick," said Councilman Sam Edgerton. "It would have been easy to go with cement-colored concrete, but that's a basic American look and we want to make a statement."
The city also plans to add a parking structure and redo its ailing pier. Edgerton said $2.5 million in funds from Proposition A, a 1992 voter-approved bond initiative, have been set aside for the renovation, but the city is still $1 million short.
A private developer is planning a three-story luxury hotel, which is expected to be completed next fall.